TSD Memphis

Thu04172014

Sports

High school football is back and rocking

FB-654378-600Memphis is a basketball town, and after hitting four high school football fields in two and a half hours, I have fresh evidence that Memphis loves its football too.

Memphis-area high school football was in full effect Friday night as the 2013 season got underway. Attendance was high at the four games I attended, with pumped-up fans already in mid-season form.

Melrose, with its legendary Orange Mound community support on display, wasted no time making a statement to MAHS by going into halftime with a 32-2 halftime lead. It was a halftime that featured a Melrose band that had the crowd grooving. The MAHS offense never got on track as Melrose romped 42-2.

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From Grizzlies to Titans in a flash

Titan-ritual-600I've photographed a ton of NBA games shooting the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum but I'd never trained my camera on an NFL field before Saturday night (Aug. 24).

The venue was LP Stadium, the Nashville home of the Tennessee Titans. I picked up my media credentials at will call and thought back to my first NBA assignment, feeling a few this-is-a-totally-different experience butterflies.

I went through the security check and picked up a media vest to enter the field. As I walked through tunnel the Titans were exiting the locker room. I grabbed my camera and snapped away, capturing their helmet-butting ritual.

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The complexion of the NFL is rapidly changing

NFL-MICHAEL VICK-400tHe would pull up to the curb in front of the New York Amsterdam News every afternoon at a little before 5 p.m. He drove an elegant-looking black automobile, and you could literally grab a razor blade and shave in front of it if you got close enough. That driving machine was sparkling.

I would walk over to the side of his car, and we would chat as he waited for his wife to exit the office, where she worked on the lobby level. It made my day. Fritz Pollard was a living legend.

Pollard was a great athlete as a teenager and matriculated at Brown University, as well as Bates College. He then became a living legend, professional football's first black quarterback/running back. He was the first black head coach with the Hammond Pros. As the years rolled on, Art Shell, Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Denny Green, Mike Tomlin, Leslie Frazier, Herm Edwards and Marvin Lewis have stood on his shoulders.

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High school football player dies after tackle

football-400ATLANTA – A suburban Atlanta high school football player has died from injuries suffered while making a tackle during a scrimmage game, according to medical examiners.

Deantre Turman's death came Friday after he made a tackle during a pre-season game, said Mike Alsip, a forensic investigator for the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. The teenager broke his neck, Alsip said.

The accident happened at a school in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Ga., according to CNN affiliate WSB.

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Fan throws banana at Adam Jones during MLB game

adamjones-banana-400Adam Jones, an All-Star outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, revealed that a banana was thrown at him by a fan in the stands during his team's game against the San Francisco Giants, ESPN reports. Jones did not say anything about the incident in postgame interviews; rather, he took to Twitter.

"I want to thank whatever slapd--- threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jacka--," Jones tweeted to his more than 129,000 followers.

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Zach ‘floors’ Grizz fans

ZBow-7059-600Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies was at Floor and Decor in Memphis signing autographs on Saturday.

Z-bo – half of the Grizz's in-the-paint force that led the team to its first NBA Finals appearance – said he is looking forward to the upcoming season.

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Football is BACK! Titans kick off preseason at home

12Titans-3-600LP Field in Nashville was lit up with bright lights to let the world know the 2013 NFL season is about to begin.

The Tennessee Titans kicked off their first preseason game against the Washington Redskins on a perfect night for football. Despite a brief scattered shower, there was a good turnout for this Thursday night game. Not only were fans there to see the home team. It was also an opportunity to see last year's offensive player of the year, Robert Griffin III.

Griffin was back on the field for the first time since injuring his knee in a playoff game lost to Seattle last year. Fans were hoping to see the electrifying player in action seeing Griffin fully dressed out, warming up and being involved with the coin toss. Instead, Redskins backup Kirk Cousins got the start. Cousins threw for a touchdown and missed only one pass as the Redskins defeated the Tennessee Titans 22-21.

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Hank Aaron Celebrity Sports Weekend – 2013

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The Temprees, “American Idol’s” Lil Rounds and Alexis Grace, and “The Voice” finalist Kris Thomas will perform at the 43rd UNCF Gala Concert to benefit The LeMoyne-Owen College.

 The concert will be Aug. 24. It will be a highlight in the 2013 Hank Aaron Celebrity Sports Weekend Aug. 19, 23-24. Other key events include a Sunset 5K and a sports breakfast with NBA veteran Elliot Perry, sportscaster and former University of Memphis basketball star.

 One of Memphis’ most anticipated sporting events, the Hank Aaron Celebrity Sports Weekend draws more than 3,000 Memphians and visitors to walk, run, golf, mingle with sports celebrities, and party with a purpose. Proceeds benefit UNCF and The LeMoyne-Owen College – both dedicated to helping young men and women overcome financial obstacles to college.

 EVENT SCHEDULE

 Celebrity Sports Golf Tournament

  •  Monday, Aug. 19, 8 a.m. shotgun start
  • Spring Creek Ranch Golf Resort, 149 Chinquapin Drive, Collierville
  • Continental breakfast and lunch are included. Fees are $1,200 per team; $325 for individual players.

 News Channel 3 Sunset 5K Run/Walk

  • Sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.
  • The LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Avenue.
  • Contestants can register online at www.loc.edu or by Thursday, Aug. 22.
  • Race day registration begins at 4 p.m.
  • Fee is $20 per person through Aug. 22.  Race day fee is $25 per person. 

 

 Celebrity Sports Breakfast hosted by former NBA player Elliot Perry

 

  • Sponsored by Cummins, Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m.
  • Location: The LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Ave., in C. Arthur Bruce Hall/Jerry C. Johnson Gymnasium
  • Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

 

 43rd annual UNCF Black Tie Gala/ Concert featuring The Temprees

 

  • Sponsored by Valero on Saturday, Aug. 24th, 7 p.m. at Germantown Performing Arts Center, 1801 Exeter Rd., in Germantown.
  • Tickets are $50 per person and are available online at www.loc.edu/hacsw/.

 

 This year’s major sponsors include Cummins, Inc., BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, FedEx, News Channel 3, and Valero. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Linda Poindexter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 901-435-1535.

 

(For more information, call 901-435-1527.)

Mike Miller quickly found a home again in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Miller had several teams interested in his 3-point shooting as a possible missing link for a long playoff run. It didn't take him long to figure out where he wanted to be: Memphis.

The sharp-shooting Miller said Tuesday that the Grizzlies are "right there" when it comes to winning a championship with what he calls the NBA's two best big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, an underrated point guard in Mike Conley and a lockdown defender in Tony Allen.

So one of Miller's first calls after the Miami Heat decided to amnesty him was to the Grizzlies' chief executive officer Jason Levien. Miller said the two had same idea, "It was a perfect fit and how can we make this work to get back here."

The two got it done. The Grizzlies announced Tuesday morning that they had signed the best 3-point shooter in franchise history as part of their efforts to improve a team coming off its first Western Conference final.

Memphis did not disclose details of the contract.

Miller was introduced at a midday news conference at the FedExForum, where Miller drew applause from backers as he walked out with new head coach Dave Joerger and a standing ovation after the event.

"We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Mike Miller back to Memphis," Levien said in a statement announcing the signing. "Mike is a special figure in our community both on and off the court. Mike is an elite 3-point shooter, as Grizzlies fans know firsthand, and we expect his shooting, play-making, hustle and leadership to be a key component in our team competing with the best in the NBA next season."

Miller still holds eight franchise records with the Grizzlies, including 3-point shooting percentage and the most 3s made and attempted. He spent parts of six seasons with the Grizzlies from 2003 through 2008. He helped the Heat win the past two NBA titles, and has shot 41 percent from 3-point range in his 13 NBA seasons.

He will collect more than $12 million in salary from the Heat over the next two seasons.

For Miller, money was a consideration along with the opportunity to return to a familiar place with the added bonus of trying put the Grizzlies into the NBA Finals.

"We missed y'all," Miller told fans at the news conference. "I am so happy to be back. Ten years ago, when I came here, me and my family fell in love with this community and these people. ... You guys made the decision real easy to come back here."

In his previous tenure with the Grizzlies, Miller averaged 14.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists. He shot 47.7 percent from the field, including 41.5 percent from outside the arc.

The 6-foot-8 guard, will be entering his 14th season after being selected out of Florida by Orlando with the fifth overall pick in the 2000 draft. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first season with the Magic and also was voted Sixth Man of the Year while with the Grizzlies.

The theme of Tuesday's announcement was steps to a championship — a different approach from Miller's first stop in Memphis where the goal was simply to make the playoffs. Miller was part of those Grizzlies' teams that set the NBA record for most playoff games lost at 12 straight.

Miller now knows what it takes to make the Finals and win a title.

"The difference between making the playoffs and making the Western Conference finals and making the Finals is a huge step," Miller said. "For this team to make that step ... is big. The next step is even harder, and it's got to be commitment."

The Grizzlies took nothing for granted pursuing Miller. Levien said he was willing to throw in "the kitchen sink" to secure him. Joerger even went to South Dakota where Miller was attending a charity event. Levien said he told Joerger "don't come back until you bring Mike with you."

Joerger said Miller provides not only leadership, but the ability to stretch the floor with his long-range shooting. That should loosen up the inside for the Grizzlies' low post tandem of Randolph and Gasol.

"Maybe for other teams in the NBA, he's a hired gun," Joerger said. "For us, he's not a hired gun. He's a part of the fabric of our organization for a long time. He's part of the community for a long, long time, and it runs a lot deeper than standing out there making some 3-point shots."

Miller, who has a history of back problems, said he feels better now than he has in years. He went through last season with no problems at all, and will do whatever necessary to help the team win "whether it's to fill up (Joerger's) glass of water or make shots."

"After being a part of a championship team and seeing how hard it is to win, it takes all of that," Miller said.

Miller held up his Grizzlies jersey without a number. He wore 33 when he was in Memphis before, but Gasol — the defensive player of the year — will be keeping that number. Miller said Gasol is too good to give up a number, and buying it from Gasol doesn't seem to be an option either.

"I can't afford Marc's number," Miller said.

Miller time again as Grizz add familiar sharpshooter

Mike Miller-600Once a Memphis Grizzly, again a Memphis Grizzly as sharpshooter officially returns to the team after two-year championship run with the Miami Heat.

Mike Miller's signing was announced Tuesday. No deal details were released. Miller, who played five-plus years with the Grizzlies, still holds 8 of the franchise's major records.

At Tuesday's press conference, Miller said he has paid a lot of attention to the Grizzlies from afar, noting the team's closeness.

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Hey LeBron! Winning cures everything, right?

LeBronJames-600What a difference a few years make...not to mention a couple of NBA Championships.

Remember not long ago when LeBron James was considered "the enemy?" Well, at least in the eyes of the citizens of Cleveland and those who thought he gave the city a raw deal. I'd never seen such backlash over someone changing employers in my entire life...and I've had nearly forty jobs.

It seemed you couldn't turn to any channel at any given time without hearing someone griping about Lebron leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat. Now, according to an ESPN Sport Poll, LeBron has actually topped Kobe Bryant as the league's most popular player.

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Tailgate spots at Tiger Lane go on sale Friday for 2013 SH Classic

10shclassic-200Tickets and tailgating spots for the Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx will go on sale Friday (July 12) at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations.

The Southern Heritage Classic featuring Tennessee State University and Jackson State University is set for Sept. 14.

To purchase tickets, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, go on line at www.ticketmaster.com or visit a local Ticketmaster location.

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Kobe Bryant unfollows Dwight Howard

bryant-howard-070913-575tcLakers fans aren't the only ones displeased with Dwight Howard's decision to leave and join the Rockets. Shortly after Howard's decision was announced, ex-teammate Kobe Bryant unfollowed Howard on Twitter.

He offered an explanation in one single tweet..

I wish d12 the best honestly. I just find it hard to follow players that wanna kick my teams a-- #thatsjustme

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